Mutton is an important part of Bengali cuisine. Sunday lunch in a Bengali household more than usually comprises of mutton curry or kosha mangsho. Not only on weekends but any festive occassion including Bengali weddings, annaprashan and Durga Puja would be considered as incomplete if there is no red meat to adorn the extensive list of Bengali delicacies. This recipe of Bhuna Mutton is very similar to Kosha Mangsho except for the fact that herein mutton is fried with spices, very little water being added occassionally until it is fully dried up. Usually bhuna gosht is a famous Eid recipe in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where they make it using beef. However I have prepared it using mutton, which is equally aromatic and delicious. Bhuna Gosht is one of the dishes that I have not been used to eating from childhood. Rather it is something I got inspired to learn after DH and his friends became a fan of Beef Fry at one of the Indian restaurants in Singapore. I have adapted this recipe from a close friend of mine who is a Bangladeshi and she always prepares it with beef.
This recipe is super simple but extremely delicious. It is incredible that very little effort is actually involved in preparing the dish. The mutton cooks in its own juices on slow flame until it is nicely done, fried and fork tender. The whole cooking process takes around 1-1.5 hours depending on the quality of the meat. Unique thing about this recipe is that it includes bagaar (or tempering of fried onions) at the end of the cooking process, which is a very common method used in Pakistani and Bangladeshi cooking.
P.S: In this recipe I have used only 1/2kg mutton. So the quantity of the ingredients are proportionate to the amount of mutton used.
Mutton – 1/2kg
Yogurt – 3-4 tbsp
Onions – 2 large finely chopped
Garlic cloves – 8-9
Ginger – 1 large piece
Green chillies – 5-6
Turmeric powder – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Cumin powder – 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tbsp
Whole garam masala – 2 Bay leaves, 4-5 cloves, 2-3 small sticks of cinnamon, 5-6 black peppercorns
Salt – as per taste
Make a paste of ginger garlic and green chillies.
Marinate the mutton pieces with the following ingredients:
1 onion chopped, ginger-garlic-chilli paste, yogurt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and salt.
Keep this marination for at least 3-4 hours. Still better if kept overnight.
2. Take oil in a pan. Put the marinated mutton into the oil.
3. Mix and let this come to a boil. The mutton will start releasing water. Dont add any extra water.
Once it comes to a boil, reduce the flame to as low as possible (least flame attainable on your gas). Cover with a lid. After 15 mins, open the lid and stir.
4. Put back the lid and let it cook again for 15 mins on the lowest flame. After another 15 mins, open the lid again and give it a mix. If it starts sticking at the bottom, you can add very little water…say 6-7 tbsp. Put back the lid again.
5. Repeat this process every 10-15 mins. The slow cooking on a low flame helps the meat to cook in its own juices without the spices getting burnt.
It will take around 1-1.5 hrs until all the water dries up and oil starts oozing out. By now the mutton will be very tender.
6. At this point, take 1 onion finely chopped.
Take some oil in another pan. Fry the onions until golden brown. Temper the mutton with the fried onions along with the oil that has been used to fry the onions. This is called as the final bagaar / tempering. This step gives this dish its unique flavor and aroma, that is specific to ‘bhuna‘ gosht.
Give everything a good mix. Cover and let it cook for another 5-10 mins. Then turn off the flame.
Bhuna mutton will be ready.
Have Bhuna Gosht as a side dish with rice or rotis / parathas.